North London Derby: Mikel Arteta of Arsenal is worried ahead of the clash with Spurs

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The manager of Arsenal football club, Mikel Arteta said he is worried about the chances of Arsenal qualifying for a European competition ahead of next season. Arteta stated this ahead of Arsenal’s league match against their local rival, Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal will face Tottenham today, March 14, 2021, in a North London derby which is a compulsory game to win for both teams if they are serious about qualifying for continental competition. Arsenal and Spurs will not only play to win to move up on the league table, but the two London-based teams will also play to win for pride.

However, winning to become the pride of London is not what Mikel Arteta is concerned about. The Spanish tactician is more concerned about moving up the Premier League table to qualify for European competition for next season.

Arsenal are currently sitting on the 10th spot on the league table with 38 points in 27 games after recording 11 wins, 5 draws, and 11 defeats. They are at least 13 points away from a Champions League spot, and at least 7 points away from a Europa League spot.

Based on this, the only way Arsenal can guarantee themselves a place in one of the European competitions next season is to win most of the remaining 11 games left before the 2020-2021 season ends. Better still, they have to win the Europa League title this season which they have been doing so well in.

Recall that on March 11, 2021, Arsenal beat Greek club, Olympiacos 3-1 in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 clash away from home which means that a win or draw for Arsenal on March 18 will send the Premier League club to the quarter-final stage of the competition.

Asides from that, coach Mikel Arteta has projected that Arsenal need to win at least 5 Premier League games successively to stand a chance of qualifying for European competition. The prospect of qualifying for a continental campaign next season is keeping the coach worried.

Mikel Arteta of Arsenal is worried ahead of the clash with Spurs
Arsenal’s coach Mikel Arteta.

If Arsenal finish the league in the 10th spot, it will be the first time in 25 years that Arsenal would finish the season without qualifying for continental competition.

“I am worried,” Mikel Arteta said. “But I would say a lot of what has happened this season is because of what we’ve done on the pitch and because of some of the decisions we’ve made.

“But if we want to have any chance (of Europe) we need to win four or five games in a row and then that picture will look different. We are capable of doing that.”

On Arsenal’s prospects in the Europa League, Arteta noted: “In Europe, it is a different story. We have been really consistent and have won seven or eight games and drawn one.

“There is still a long way to go and we know the quality of the teams still involved but hopes are there and we are always positive. We will give it a go right until the end.”

A win in tonight’s north London derby might take Tottenham Hotspur to the 6th spot on the league table pending the outcome of other matches. If Arsenal win, the club might remain on the 10th spot on the league table but 10 points closer to 4th placed Chelsea.